Kananga

 

Another recommendation by another friend. The everyday life of the Orthodox Christian community of Kananga, in Democratic Republic of Congo, a war-ridden country with thousands of victims and one of the most dangerous places in the world. Faith and hope in one of the most dangerous places of the world. 8.6 IMDB

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With the Eyes of the Soul

 

PREMIERE: “With the Eyes of the Soul”, the long awaited release of a video on the life of Saint Porphyrios, one of Orthodoxy’s most well known contemporary elders who happened to live most of his life working as a priest in a clinic chapel in Athens, Greece.  This video uses multiple voice actors and presents both a linear narrative about his life intertwined with accounts of healings and wonders that occurred at various times. 

The Miracle of the True Cross

 

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Holy Cross, Romanos III, with the hole of a nail from the Crucifixion

The miracle displayed in the video below is the traditional mark of authenticity of any splinter of wood which people might claim to be a segment of the true Holy Wood. The video shows a monk from Mount Athos placing the splinter of the Holy Wood in a glass of water. Initially, the splinter naturally floats, but after the monk says the Trisagion prayer, Psalms 50 and 142 , and makes the sign of the Cross three times with this splinter on the water, when he places it in the water again, the splinter sinks to the bottom. 

The monk also displays a fragrant relic of St. Haralambos towards the end for veneration.

 

 

 

Come To Me….

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Athonite Film Wins Award at International Film Competition

 
Monks and students at Athoniada Ecclesiastical Academy participated in the 3rd International Cinema Competition with a short film titled Come To Me….
 
The final ranking was announced in Athens on May 25, 2017 at the Michael Kakoyannis Foundation during the award ceremony. It was one of seven films awarded out of 290.
 
Athoniada Academy is a school that operates out of Karyes on Mount Athos. It was originally founded in 1749 by Ecumenical Patriarch Cyril V and housed in a building of Vatopaidi Monastery.
 
The school provides a junior high school and high school education, with free housing, schooling and food, and the students live a common life.
 
All the necessary facilities for living such as washing machines, dryers, sports, table games, books from its modern library, computer room with modern computers, etc. are available.
 
All the students are taught what is also taught in public schools, and additionally there is offered Ecclesiastical Music, Iconography, Liturgics, Teleliturgics, Athonite History, Interpretation of Gospel Passages and Patristic Texts, Ethics, and other things.
 
See the award-winning short film prepared by the Athoniada Academy students:
 
 
 
 

Internet Abstinence

God’s Kairos at St. Aidan’s (Manchester)

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Felt truly blessed by Agape, the warmth of fellowship. Nunc dimittis

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Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple

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Simeon’s Song of Praise by Aert de Gelder, painted around 1700–1710

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But see how the Russian icon above emphasizes the meeting aspect. Pay attention to the way Jesus and Simeon are so face to face

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Eucharist! The redemption of Man’s Chronos into Kairos. “The ultimate form of communication we can engage in as human beings  …  Our true communion of God’s icons as opposed to our reduction to fleeting, ephemeral, hollow images in a World of Social Networking (Oh the irony of this post for this blog, and for a poor little hermit …)

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… If we think of one of the primary functions of the Divine Liturgy as a means to engage in a more meaningful experience that transcends the Chronos of everyday life, cyber social networking does the complete opposite. Kairos, a more personal and meaningful use of time is the Greek term used for the time spent at the Divine Liturgy. Cyber social networking then, has become the epitome of Chronos, the ordinary and the mundane use of time.

 

… Moreover, if we are all created in the Image of God, than how can we see this image in a person’s face, or hear it in his or her voice when communicating through texting or Facebook? The answer is simple. We can’t. If we are all icons, as the church fathers tell us, then the image of that icon remains unseen through a cyber connection. Can you imagine walking into an Orthodox Church with no icons?  The soul of that church would seem quite empty.

 

Please read the whole article “The Image of God in a World of Social Networking” at Pemptousia, to see how we should meet in worship, in Church, and not in the social media … Let us let go of this virtual world and sink into the real one … Never before in mankind history probably was our presence in church services so indispensable.

 

Gie her a Haggis

 

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“Holiness in the Bible” Study Weekend: Highlights (I)

Orthodox Fellowship of St John the Baptist

Orthodox Community of St Andrew the Apostle in Edinburgh

 

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Sunday 22/1/2017

*A thought-provoking talk by Dr. Fotini Hamplova on how women can be saved through child-bearing and especially child-rearing, including us all here, spiritual mothers, spiritual fathers and indeed all Orthodox Christians in this call to Holiness through asceticism, the cutting of our will, silence, podvig etc.

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Fotini: “The Church is our Arc. This is where we are safe.”

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Fr. Mark (Glasgow) on holiness in the 21st century

Fr. Mark: On Bearing Our Cross to become Holy

How can you bear it?

We cannot. But where else can we go?

The feeling of being nailed on a Cross. 

See this to the end. 

Proceed to a territory beyond our endurance–to Death. 

God will never force us, push us beyond we want to go. 

Danger: illusion of Peace. 

Terrorism of the demons: assailed largely through thoughts, discouraging: very convincing.

The Evil One becomes powerful in our lives to the extent to which we will listen to him.

It takes great humility, courage and faith in order to allow God to smash us to pieces. Because He will in order to save us. If we allow Him, if we surrender to His Will.

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How lovely to see Fr Michael Harry with his Khouriya,  who are to ‘retire’ after Easter to the Hebrides!

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And a few more friends

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 Archimandrite John Maitland Moir (b. 18 June 1924-d. 17 April 2013), the Founding Father of the parish, was also present in our hearts.

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Nice group photo of the Haggises  🙂

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A haggis lunch accompanied with with excellent Scottish folk music and Robert Burns poetry recitation while ceremoniously cutting the haggis.

The folk music was mesmerising and sounded something like that. Apologies for running out of battery…

 

And the Haggis ritual looked like that. Again apologies for my battery …

 

 

This poem was written by Burns to celebrate his appreciation of the Haggis. As a result Burns and Haggis have been forever linked. As I found out, this particular poem is always the first item on the programme of Burns’ suppers. The haggis is generally carried in on a silver salver at the start of the proceedings. As it is brought to the table a piper plays a suitable, rousing accompaniment. One of the invited artistes then recites the poem before the theatrical cutting of the haggis with the ceremonial knife: “But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer/ Gie her [Scotland] a Haggis”

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Then, a scenic tour of Edinburgh

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Arthur’s Seat is one of the Best Places with Scenic Views in Edinburgh.

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View of Edinburgh from the Rest and Be Thankful, Corstorphine Hill.

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View from Calton Hill Edinburgh

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Craiglockhart Hill

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Braid Hill

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Blackford Hill

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Arthur’s Seat

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Yes, I know. A haggis lunch…..then a walk…..Orthodox have stamina 🙂

 

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Edinburgh is traditionally said to have been built on seven hills. Walk round the town for an hour or so and you might wonder if they didn’t mean seven …

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Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh Castle as seen from Princes Street …

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While spending this long weekend in Edinburgh, I’ve caught a glimpse of the castle almost every day, whether I’m walking to or from the church, shopping, or wandering about town..

Our Sunday scenic tour culminated to St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh (Roman Catholic), where we venerated the relics of St Andrew the First-called. Here parishioners and visitors for the study weekend joined together as pilgrims.

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It was such a lovely weekend; thank you to all who worked so hard and for all the kindness and fellowship!

How a Dead Mother Stopped Her Son From Suicide

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The most painful NEIN in cinema’s history…

To a person who had to choose between suicide and begging

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St. Velimirovich letter 

29 December 2016

You write that all your worldly goods were sold off to a third party. When you found yourself out on the street with nothing and nobody, you headed to the cemetery, bent on killing yourself. You had no doubts or second thoughts about this. Exhausted by the vexations, you lay down on your parents’ grave and fell asleep. Your mother appeared to you in your sleep and berated you, saying that in the Kingdom of God there were plenty of people who had been beggars, but not a single one of those who had done away with themselves. That dream saved you from suicide. Your beloved mother really did save you, by God’s providence. You began to beg and to live off begging. And you’re asking if, by doing so, you’re transgressing God’s law.

Take courage. God gave the commandment: ‘Don’t steal’. He didn’t give any commandment ‘Don’t beg’. Begging without any real need is stealing, but in your case it isn’t. The general and emperor Justinian was left blind in his old age, with no possessions or friends. He would sit, blind, outside the courtyard of the throne and beg for a little bread. As a Christian, he didn’t permit himself to consider suicide. Because, just as life’s better than death, so it’s better to be a beggar than a suicide. 

You say that you’re overcome with shame and that your sorrow’s deep. You stand at night outside the coffee-shop that used to be yours and ask for money from those who go in and out. You remember that, until recently, you were the owner of the coffee-shop and now you don’t dare go in even as a customer. Your eyes are red from weeping and lamentation. Comfort yourself. God’s angels aren’t far from you. Why are you crying about the coffee-shop? Haven’t you heard of the coffee-shop at the other end of Belgrade where it says: ‘Someone’s it wasn’t; someone’s it won’t be’? Whoever wrote those words was a true philosopher. Because that’s true of all the coffee-shops, all houses all the castles and all the palaces in the world.

What have you lost? Something that you didn’t have when you were born and which isn’t yours now. You were the boss, now you’re poor. That’s not loss. Loss is when a person becomes a beast. But you were a person and have remained so. You signed some papers for certain of your prominent customers and now your coffee-shop’s in the hands of a stranger. Now you look through the window and see everybody laughing, just the way they used to, and you’re wandering the streets with tears in your eyes and covered in shame. Never fear, God’s just. They’ll all have to answer for their misdeeds. But when they attempt to commit suicide, who’s to say whether the merciful Lord will allow their mothers to appear to them from the other world in order to keep them from the crime? Don’t consider them successful even for a moment. Because you don’t know how they’ll end up. A wise man in ancient Greece said: ‘Never call anybody happy before the end’. It’s difficult to be a beggar? But aren’t we all? Don’t we all depend, every hour of every day, on the mercy of Him Who gives us a life to lead? Now you’ve got an important mission in the world: to engage people’s attention so that they remember God and their soul and to be charitable. Since you’re forced to live in silence, delve into your soul and talk to God through prayer. The life of a beggar’s more heroic than that of a boss. ‘For gold is tested in the fire and accepted people in the furnace of humility’ (Sir. 2, 5). But you’ve already demonstrated heroism by rejecting the black thought of suicide. This is a victory over the spirit of despondency. After this victory, all the others will be easy for you. The Lord will be at your side.

Peace and comfort from the Lord!

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